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Reserve Bank of India Clarifies Withdrawal of Rs 2000 represented in a picture.

Reserve Bank of India Clarifies Withdrawal of Rs 2000 Notes as a Statutory Exercise, Not Demonetization

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officials appeared before the Delhi High Court to address concerns regarding the withdrawal of Rs 2000 notes, clarifying that it was a statutory exercise rather than a demonetisation move. The court session revolved around a plea filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who argued that the notifications enabling the exchange of Rs 2000 banknotes without proof were arbitrary and contrary to laws aimed at curbing corruption.

The bench, composed of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad, assured that it would carefully consider the public interest litigation presented by Upadhyay. “We will look into it. We will pass an appropriate order,” stated the court, acknowledging the significance of the matter.

Upadhyay clarified that his intention was not to challenge the decision to withdraw Rs 2000 banknotes but to question the exchange of these notes without any slip or identity proof. He emphasized that the exchange should only be permitted through depositing the banknotes into a bank account, arguing that excluding the requirement for identity proof would facilitate activities of criminals and organized gangs.

Delhi High Court hears plea challenging exchange of Rs 2000 banknotes without identity proof

Representing the RBI, senior advocate Parag P Tripathi emphasized that the court should refrain from intervening in such matters. He highlighted that the decision to enable the exchange of Rs 2000 banknotes was made for operational convenience and not as a form of demonetisation. Tripathi also asserted that the petitioner’s claims did not impinge upon any constitutional issues.

After hearing the arguments from both parties, the court reserved its judgment, indicating that a decision would be delivered at a later date. The petitioner contended that the notifications issued by the RBI and State Bank of India (SBI), allowing the exchange of Rs 2000 banknotes without requisition slips and identity proof, were arbitrary and violated Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

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The plea further emphasized that a significant amount of currency had either been hoarded or was in the possession of separatists, terrorists, Maoists, drug smugglers, mining mafias, and corrupt individuals. It emphasized that cash transactions involving high-value currency were often associated with corruption and various illegal activities. The petitioner urged the RBI and SBI to ensure that Rs 2000 banknotes were exclusively deposited in respective bank accounts.

Depositing Rs 2000 currency notes into bank accounts, as suggested by the plea, would aid in the identification of individuals with black money and disproportionate assets. The move aimed to enhance transparency and accountability within the financial system.

The Reserve Bank of India had previously announced the withdrawal of Rs 2000 currency notes from circulation, permitting individuals to either deposit them into bank accounts or exchange them by September 30. While the bank notes in Rs 2000 denomination continued to be legal tender, the RBI introduced measures to facilitate the exchange process, maintaining operational convenience and minimizing disruptions at bank branches.

In a communication to its local head offices, the State Bank of India (SBI) confirmed that the public could exchange Rs 2000 notes up to a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time without the need for a requisition slip or identity proof. The facility aimed to streamline the process and enable smooth transactions for individuals seeking to exchange their banknotes.


The final decision by the Delhi High Court will hold significant implications for the exchange of Rs 2000 banknotes and may provide clarity on the legality and procedural requirements associated with the process. Market participants and the general public eagerly await the court’s judgment, which will determine the course of action concerning the exchange of these high-denomination banknotes.

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